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Is this language usage correct?

  1. May 15, 2007 #1


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    "A high 3He:4He ratio signifies..."
    I'm thinking that since the colon between the isotopes shows that it is a ratio already, using the word 'ratio' afterwards is a bit like writing PIN number. Is it acceptable to write it like this or should i get rid of the word 'ratio'?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 15, 2007 #2


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    To a mathematician, the word "ratio" might seem redundant, but the phrase scans better with the word included, IMO.
  4. May 15, 2007 #3
    Ya I think the word ratio belongs.
  5. May 15, 2007 #4


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    I've always taken the colon in such applications to represent the word 'to', since that's the way it's spoken. In that case, the inclusion of the word 'ratio' is correct.
  6. May 15, 2007 #5


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    Or you could write it like this to avoid the redundancy but still keep it clear:

    "A high ratio 3He:4He signifies..."
  7. May 15, 2007 #6


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    I would prefer in a previous sentence to say once that 3He:4He is a ratio and not need to be redundant.
  8. May 16, 2007 #7


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    Brilliant. Thanks guys :)
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